Fremont Saddle

Since we could not head back to San Diego until my son’s class was over in the mid-afternoon, I planned to squeeze in two more peaks on this trip. I had debated attempting Flatiron, but opted to hike Fremont Saddle instead. Once again, I left my hotel in the predawn darkness and drove the 50 minutes to Peralta Canyon.

After driving down a nicely groomed dirt road for about 6 or 7 miles, I came to a large parking lot. There were a few cars here, but still plenty of parking. I used the pit toilet to recycle some coffee before heading out. I signed the register and headed off. 

The trail would work its way up the canyon toward the saddle. The skies were a bit overcast, so the light was a bit flat for the photos, but still the scenery was lovely. I found the trail fairly easy to follow, as portions of the trail were marked with horse cairns (aka horse poop). I was keeping a good pace as I neared the saddle.

As I crested the saddle, the 1,000 foot Weaver’s Needle stood before me. Better yet, the skies had opened a bit, and I had some nice light to take my photos. As I stood there taking in this incredible sight, the wind was blowing a bit, so I put on my windbreaker. I explored the saddle some, but I still had another peak to climb. 

The return to the car went quickly, just like yesterday, I started to encounter fellow hikers making their way up. I chatted with one gentleman for a bit and he recommended I join the Arizona Hikers Facebook group. I figured my son has three more years at ASU, and they could be a good hiking resource for me. Back at the car, the lot had almost filled up. I tossed in my gear and headed back into town to climb Piestewa Peak. The final stats were 4.5 miles in 2:45 with 1,327 feet of gain.

I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, Central Coast, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest. 

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